Read the transcript: Economist Paul Krugman spoke out on “The Health Care Crisis and What to Do About It“, on May 30, 2006, at the Community Church in New York.
This talk was sponsored by Physicians for a National Health Program-NY Metro Chapter, the Community Church of New York and the New York Review of Books.
You may remember those horrible few days at the end of August and at the beginning of September when Katrina hit New Orleans, and we all watched in horror and in anger as the city of New Orleans suffered, people were stuck, and help failed to arrive. Those days when you just couldn’t believe that this was America. Where is the aid? Why aren’t we saving these people? Why aren’t we coming to the aid of that city?
These were appropriate reactions.
We’re an extremely rich country. We’re a country of enormous resources. And there’s one thing that rich societies do quite well — coming to the aid of people in trouble. We don’t expect this for most ordinary risks in life. But, we do believe that we have the moral duty to protect our people when they are victims of circumstances beyond their control. In fact, society should come to their aid.
That is ultimately what the health care debate is about. I’m an economist, a quantitative guy. I do numbers and all those things economists do. But, ultimately, this is a moral issue. Preventable illnesses and the personal strain and often the financial disaster that comes with them are all things that we can handle. We can come to the aid of our fellow citizens. And every advanced country except the United States does.
A Responsible United States: (read full long text).